Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Bacon Turtle Sandwich

Last night I did some set up for my blog: I scanned a mosaic I made (it's on the back of a legal pad from work) and also cut and pasted a haiku about bacon from a hand dryer that Erik in the comments section yesterday. Maybe I should just leave the blog that way, with no further commentary:
touch the ham button
bacon plentiful erupts
Wilbur is some pig!
Tempting, but then it's confusing: Is the turtle touching the "ham button"? Do turtles eat bacon? Do turtles need to dry their hands/feet/paws? Has this turtle read Charlotte's web (or seen either movie version) to know who Wilbur is?
I wish I had the answers, but I don't. It's Friday and my brain is on auto-pilot. Although it's three-day weekend for most in my office, I am working Monday. You can bet I'll be making large-scale, elaborate pieces of office supply art, perhaps even articles of clothing if I get bored enough, since no one is around to stop me. Or report me for either insanity or stealing excessive office supplies.
I'm going to sign off now, as I think this blog is full enough, what with the art and the haiku. About BACON.
Wait, this blog is not full enough, I take it back. Today is six weeks since I sent my stuff to Ten Speed Press. Either it was lost and never made it to them because it was eaten by hungry postal workers or they are still contemplating if it's a good idea. Or perhaps the rejection is sitting in my mailbox right now...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rainbow Days

There are many, many reasons for this post involving rainbows today:

1. Last weekend I was introduced to this hilarious clip on youtube. The entire video is of a rainbow reflected in the spray of a sprinkler while the woman taking the video is in the background talking about what must be in our water supply for that rainbow to appear in the water. It's a hoot.

2. It is STILL raining. Rain rain go away and come back when I'm sleeping and don't have to drive in you. I need some color in my life, hence the rainbow theme.

3. My latest office supply art project has all the colors of the rainbow (just like Skittles!):

4. I know how much rainbows cheer people up and today seems like a good day for cheering up people. You know who you are.

5.My cats, who, as I've mentioned, read my blog and they, too, could use some spirit-lifting. They are depressed because of all the rain and their lack of outside time. I am depressed by their increased litter-box time.

And one last thing that has nothing to do with rainbows but does have to do with haiku. My mom was inspired to write a haiku after my post the other day and her's is actually really good:

Breeze blows. Leaves tremble
Thirsty earth longs for moisture
Rain comes pouring down

I know, right? She stayed with the nature theme and everything. She should write a second haiku about bacon from the hand dryer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bacon - At The Gas Station, Of Course

Here's the deal: with all the excitement of hairless cats and haikus, I completely dropped the ball on telling you that I sent another query letter package thingy to a publisher. The lucky winner of this month's package is Chronicle Books. A sample of my cover letter: "In addition there is an outline of the work, analysis of the potential market for the piece and some marketing ideas for this book, a list of similar books on the market, my biography, and some fairy dust to convince you that this is all a really great idea." I'm not kidding, I really sent that to them. Might as well let them know what they're dealing with up front, right?

Complete change of topic: Tropical Storm Fay. She spent days and days in Florida and now her remnants are here. We need the rain, etc, etc, but yesterday my drive home from work, which is normally a 34-mile-drive-o'-bliss, filled with NPR news and mooning strangers (hard to do when you drive stick), was a torturous drive with downpours, rivers in the roads and me having a mild freak-out. I got off the highway because the roads were so bad. Also I had to pee. I could not wait. And I am so happy I did:

I'm sure you're familiar with this, the sign posted on the hand dryers in public bathrooms. You can't see it in this crappy picture that I've taken, but someone had written captions below the illustration. Under the first illustration "Push Button" is written. Under the second button "Receive Bacon" is written. And under the final button "Eat Bacon" is written. I actually laughed out loud, which was a much needed release from my very stressful drive home.

I am sad to say no bacon came out when I pushed the button. Maybe the machine was empty? Oh well, I'm a vegetarian anyways. On the upside, I am so happy to see other people making funny out there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ah, New Love

New love. No, I do not have a new boyfriend. Or a new cat. Or a new cable channel. This is a different kind of love. The fresh love of an art form that I haven't attempted since sophomore English class: Haiku. I'm going to be honest, I don't really get haiku. But this impressive verse created by my weekend guest, Emily, has inspired me to try to understand it:

I mean, even after reading the definition, "A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons," I still don't know if I could ever be bored enough at work to try to write one. Do you hear the crickets? That means I'm bored enough. Here goes:

Office supply art
Cool that it's five syllables
That works out real good
It didn't evoke nature, but it's my first attempt. And I'm just going to go ahead and say it will be my only attempt, as poetry is not my strong point.
Emily, thanks for passing on your wonderful poem so that (two) people could read it and enjoy. I know you're at a new job and haven't gotten bored enough to make stuff, but when you do, send it along. And I'm really sorry for the embarrassing poem, above. This is why you went to grad school to study literature, and I went to art school.
Emily also sent along a link to her description of the weekend, here, and a link to a neat story about people using post-it notes for fun (definitely not work-related), here.
Keep up the good work. Don't know who I'm talking to there, probably myself.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekends R Awesome

I had quite the exciting weekend. First off my friend Erik and his girlfriend Emily (okay, when I asked her what their exact status was she said: "We're seeing each other. Naked.") visited. It was so much fun, I haven't seen Erik in about a year and a half, since he schlepped my butt all around D.C. so I could get a passport five days before I left for New Zealand. Also, Emily is a girl after my own heart as far as filling bored-time at work with fun and creative activities; she has promised to email me her haiku about...mounties, I think. When I have it I'll post it. She has promised that it also has an illustration.

That was all fun, however, my time with them was not as exciting as when I went to the vet's office to pick up a pack of flea and tick medication. Why? Because this was there:

Ew, I had to stop eating my lunch just looking at that picture. It's a hairless cat. Next time I've had too much to drink and am considering shaving one of my own definitely-not-hairless-cats for fun, I'm going to look at this picture and I'm quite sure I'll reconsider. The cat belongs to my vet and for once it was hanging out in the lobby. It looks like a cross between an armadillo and an old woman and I tried to touch it but perhaps I was making it uncomfortable because it didn't seem to want to be touched.

This weekend I also ran into this guy I used to work with:

Well, this isn't him, but this is one of the many pieces of roll-art he brought to me when we both worked at the inn where he was a cook and I was a slave. I mean, an event coordinator. He is now married and has a gorgeous wife and an even more gorgeous baby girl, about six months old. That was a nice surprise and it reminded me, yet again, that there are other awesome creative people out there trying to find creativity any way they can. Even in yeast and flour.

Now go make something fun and smile while you're doing it. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

You Think of a Title, I'm Too Lazy

This "art" wasn't that awesome even in real life, let alone on the crappy picture of it from my cell phone, but sometimes you just gotta work with what you've got. Also, I was walking this morning and found a beautiful leaf, courtesty of God's Office Supply Store, so I threw it into the picture so there was something nice to look at.

Actually, it wasn't intended to be art in the first place, I had a folded up piece of paper that was headed for the trash and I tore it into strips and decided to weave it into an interlocking piece of wonderfulness, which doesn't fully translate here. I am happy I made it though, because now I know that if this whole book-publishing thing doesn't work out I can make pot holders and sell them on the street corner.
Oh, it's been five weeks since I sent my stuff to Ten Speed Press and still no rejection. This weekend I'll get everything together to send to Chronicle Books and maybe another publisher as well. And my friend (okay, highschool boyfriend, but that was too long ago to call him an ex boyfriend) and his girlfriend are visiting this weekend. Also, Amy wanted me to tell the story of how I felt like my sweetheart was making me late for work because he was parked behind me in our driveway and was taking too long to move his van and kept doing other things instead of moving and I got mad and threw his lunch off the front porch onto the lawn, but that doesn't seem relevant here, so I think I'll skip it.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We All Have Days When We Feel This Way

Disclaimer: This post is a joke. Not like yesterday's post where I was talking to a paperclip. That was dead serious.

Let's say you're in a meeting that is so boring you would rather cut the entire White House lawn with only your butt cheeks and a pair of children's safety scissors. Or you're traveling for business and stuck between a man who has the breath of my cat, Coconut, and a child that thinks it's funny to pull on your nose hairs and scream. Or maybe you're writing a report, that is due in 12 minutes, about the antibiotic properties of papier mache. Or whatever. You're bored out of your mind and think "Somebody kill me." Below, some options to choose from, drawn to entertain my co-worker, Amy, while we were in a situation where she looked as though she thought death was the best option.

Yes, trampled by horses. This option might be hard to come across in your everyday office situation, but an idea nonetheless. I think they actually look like one horse and one large bent-over kangaroo.

Sat on by someone. Definitely a possibility, especially if you're on a plane. Crouch down when your seatmate gets up and then quickly slip your head under their lowering buttocks when they get back from the bathroom. On a side note, it turns out Amy thought this drawing was death by someone farting on you. Which is very childish. But funny. Too bad my drawing says "Sat on by someone", or I'd lie and say that's what the drawing is.

Rollerskating accident? This is for those of you who work at one of those joints where you serve banana splits to people sitting in their cars. See, that's you, about to slip on a banana peel.

This seems like a pretty viable option to me: a pen through the eye? The nose? Instant escape from the meeting.

Me with the animal-themed deaths again. I think a flock of birds that has somehow made it into your office would be discombobulated and possibly peck you to death.

Knife. Boring, but Amy circled it as her choice because she likes things boring.

Heart explosion? Different from a heart attack. It's caused by your heart being so bored that it self-destructs in order to end its own misery.

Fire. This is a campfire. Which you have built in your office to roast marshmallows over. Which begs the question: Does anyone else think marshmallows should be spelled "marshmellows" and get confused when they try to spell it correctly?

Dog bite. Back again with the animal deaths. I am predictable. But if a rabid dog showed up in your meeting it would be anything but run of the mill.

Thank goodness death stares can't really kill, or I'd have been dead many times over, and my poor boyfriend would still be lying in the driveway right now.

This would be my choice of ways to go. Give me a variety of cheeses, brie, sharp cheddar, mozzarella sticks, pepper jack, goat cheese, etc. A tasty way to go.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Talking to a Paperclip

Office Supply Art: Jen,where have you been and why haven't you been making us more often?
Jen: None of your damn business, Office Supply Art!
OSA: Jeez, Jen, take it easy, we were just wondering.
J:Sorry, sorry guys, just been a little touchy lately. Look, I'm back though, I made this awesome piece of you yesterday:
OSA: Wow, that's beautiful, how did you make it? What office supplies did you use?
J: Thanks, I think it's beautiful, too. I made it with the magic and professional technique of cutting stuff out from a magazine and taping it to another piece of magazine. I came up with a theme and found colors that went with the theme and cut them out and stuck 'em down. I didn't think the flower stood out enough from the background so I used a permanent marker to do a little edging along one side.
OSA:What do you call it?
J: My Collage Sunflower is an Honor Roll Student at Smithfield Junior High
OSA: (pause) Uh, okay. I don't get the title.
J: Yeah, well, you're a made-up voice in my head being spoken by a paper clip wrapped inside a Post-It Note, so I don't expect much from you.
OSA:Um, I have to go now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunshine, Lollipops, Cell Phones, Jolly Ranchers.

My cell phone, my life line. But not for the last two days, as I lost my cell phone charger. For the second time this calendar year. Not this fiscal year, but still. The reasons my phone is so dear to me:
  • It has pictures of my cats on it
  • I use it to take pics of my Office Supply Art to email to myself so I can post them on my blog
  • I know absolutely no one’s phone number, they are all in my phone
  • It’s shiny
  • I don’t have a landline, this is it
  • It’s good for calling AAA when I lock my keys in the truck, have a flat tire, etc,
    which I have needed to do many times, including when I locked my keys in my truck at the grocery store and the manager tried to break into it with a hanger…no dice

Since I can’t take pictures and email them to myself, I thought I’d talk about one of the other things I love about my job…the Muzac/Music/Muzic. There is a PA system where I work and the stuff that plays over it, it’s indescribable. But I’ll try anyways. A sample play list:
  • “409” by the Beach Boys. This song is cool with me, it reminds me of two things: The cleaner we had to use to wipe the conveyor belt thing at the cash register at my first job, I liked the smell of the cleaner, which is the only thing I liked about the job; and Dave Barry. Barry, my humor-writing-hero, talks about Beach Boys songs in his work and if I had a specific example I’d share it, but I don’t.
  • Okay, some song something about “Barbara I Love You”, which I Googled and seems to be by Ringo Starr? When I looked at the page to look at the lyrics I was distracted by a box that said “Take the Miley Cyrus Quiz!” Yikes! Not going there.
  • “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks. Wasn’t this in a Jolly Rancher commercial? When I hear the song I picture this giant watermelon…huh. While actually listening to the lyrics I became a little creeped out: “I believe that you and me last forever/Oh yeah, all day and night/I'm yours, leave me never/The only time I feel alright is by your side/Girl, I want to be with you all of the time/All day and all of the night/All day and all of the night time/All day and all of the night.” See what I mean? This guy needs therapy for his co-dependency, if you ask me.
  • “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” by Lesley Gore. Again, when you listen to these lyrics, which in this case remind me of an episode of the Simpsons (Do I have them on the brain or what?), they are very, very odd: “Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, Everything that's wonderful is sure to come your way 'Cause you're in love, you're in love, And love is here to stay!” Hmm, this chick should date the guy from The Kinks, ‘cause if they were together all day and all night; that would be a helluva lot of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
  • As a side note, when I was looking up the lyrics to the above song I noticed there are lots of songs with the word “lollipop” in them. And some of them are not so family-friendly. Some of them used "lollipop" in a way that did not mean lollipop and may have even made me blush.

    The music over the PA goes on and on, all day, and all of the night, it's the only thing that makes me feel alright.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I did pretty much nothing I said I would do this weekend. With the exception of nothing, which I did alot of. I bought trashy celebrity magazines and read them and then recycled them without making collages or ransom notes out of them, as per my regular routine. I looked at one publisher's profile that I was thinking about querying with my book idea and that was it for me and book stuff. I wrote no query letters, made no paperclip landscapes, nothing, nothing, nothing. I took three naps in two days (I amaze even myself) and below is the one and only thing I did related to my blog or office supply art. Good thing it kicks ass:

My logo. For this week, anyways. Why pay for a pricey yet extremely boring and clean and professional-looking logo to be created by some graphic designer (which I technically am, by the way, not that you should believe me based on the above piece) when you can make your own out of office supplies and take a picture of it in your own home and call it done? No, the logo isn't saved or stored anywhere, it's disassembled in various places in my house. Rubber bands here, notebook there, piece of paper somewhere else hopefully not under a cat, paper clips back in their happy little containers. Did I just say "happy little containers"? Yes, I did. I think that slipped out because I've caught a couple of episodes of Bob Ross painting on PBS and man that was one happy guy, I respect his "happy little trees" and "happy little clouds". Oh, one more thing about this logo...see the stovetop burner in the top of the shot? Did I think that was professional? Did I think that has something to do with office supply art? Of course not. But I'm not going for (even close to) perfection here, just fun.

Happy Monday Everybody! (As I typed that I heard it in my head being said by that Dr. Nick on the Simpsons, see him here if you don't know who I mean. It's much funnier when you say anything about Monday with his voice.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Cats Can Read

My cats read my blog yesterday. No one believes me, but last night they didn't meow or try to get in the closet or anything, so they must have read my complaints. Now that I know they read it, I'd like to mention a few other things:
  • If you would learn to use the toilet for going to the bathroom instead of drinking out of, I would appreciate it.
  • You guys owe me about $9224 in mortgage payments at this point. That doesn't even begin to cover utilities, flea medication, or cat food.
  • No, leaving me deceased birds on the porch isn't going to cover it.
  • I would like it if you had dinner ready for me when I get home from work at least once a week.
  • A massage every once in a while would be nice.
  • Coconut, seriously, you need to start brushing your teeth.

Changing the subject, at this point I'd like to write something really inspiring and heartfelt, because I've felt lots of inspiration and...heart feeling (?) lately. Today it has been four weeks since I sent out my first batch of query letters and, unless there is one when I get home tonight, I still have hope because one of the publishers hasn't sent me a no yet.

Oooh, oooh, I think something inpiring might come out of me now, it's brewing. Okay, so even if I go home tonight and have another rejection letter, meaning all three of the publishers I started with do not want my book, Office Supply Art: How to Not Die of Boredom at Your Lame 9 to 5, I'll be OK. I enjoy making art and sharing it on my blog. Even if three people in Wisconsin are the only ones who see it. Which is unlikely, because I don't know anyone in Wisconsin. I love my book, so even if I have to send it to 400 more publishers, some of whom may specialize in publishing manuals on operating farm equipment, and still no one will publish it, I'll continue on. I'm trying to find my way. And that's the point of my book. And it should be the point of this blog, too. I want to create and help people in some way and since I can't make everyone my awesome veggie lasagna plus carrot cake for dessert, this is going to have to do for now.

If I get home tonight and my cats have dinner on the table and the massage table set up, I'll know I'm reaching someone.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Let me start by saying that I don't feel artistic or funny today. I'm tired because I have cats that think (OK, they know) they rule the house. If they are outside when we go to bed but decide they want to come in, one (Coconut) will meow into the open window of our bedroom until we (I) let her in and the other one (Nola) climbs up the screen door and bangs it against the other door to make a sound loud enough to wake up the blissfully-zonked-out Jen.

Then they usually insist on being fed and watered and then after I'm already back asleep Coconut decides she wants to sleep in the hall closet, on our beach towels, and plays loudly with the door until someone (me, again) lets her into her new favorite sleepy spot. Nola sleeps in a place more easily accessible, but usally wants to go back outside within 12 to 17 minutes of being let in. She also has the courtesy to wait until I've fallen back asleep before she asks to be let out again.

While I'm on this rant, can I also mention that Coconut comes inside to use the kitty litterbox instead of going in God's-great-big-litterbox, nature? This doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night. Thank goodness, that would be some loud pooping.

So how about some random office supply art??? That has absolutely nothing to do with my previous three paragraphs! Way to go with the continuity, Jen!

This is a leaf. I don't know why I've been making art like this lately, it absolutely drives me crazy making it, I am not a detail person. When I have to fill in the little individual boxes I feel like heading for the hall closet to curl up on some beach towels just to avoid the tedium. Continuity restored.

These are some hearts. Made in the same painful way. And why did I choose to draw hearts? Ask anyone, I am not a heart person. I really don't have an explanation, other than that a heart is just like any other shape and it's easy to draw and, do you need more reasons?
  • They gave me an excuse to make a bulleted list.
  • I love lists.
  • So, hearts.
  • They remind me of Valentine's Day.
  • Which reminds me of chocolate.
  • There you go.

Thanks for getting through this painful episode, if you know what's good for you you'll send me some sort of kitty sedative so I can get a decent night's sleep tonight and maybe restore my funny bone in the process.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I just saw a headline, as I was headed to my blogging post, that said something about Michael Phelps being the "winningest" Olympian of all time. First of all, who knew "winningest" was a word? Not me. When I see it I think it has something to do with birds...but that's just me.

So that got me thinking: What can I be the winningest at? Or the most winningest of? Not sure how to use this newly-learned word in a sentence at this point. I am hoping that me and the winningest-ness can work together in some way with office supply art. Like, winningest office suppy arter or all time? That doesn't have much of a ring to it, we'll have to work on that.

My orinigal intentions for today's post were to say that I have recovered from my second rejection letter and I'm doing well. I decided that if no one will pay me to write, maybe I can get paid to make modern art:

I call it "Winningest Styrofoam Meets Losingest Cardboard Pieces". A new printer was recently installed in my office, but I found the packing materials much more interesting than the new office equipment. Probably because I haven't figured out how to turn the printer (scanner/copier/frozen margarita maker) on yet...candles and a backrub, maybe?

Back to my piece. It's modern office supply art, right? I just looked up what modern art is and apparently I'm out of the historical time frame for it to be real modern art, but I think this part of the definition applies: "Nearly every phase of modern art was initially greeted by the public with ridicule, but as the shock wore off, the various movements settled into history, influencing and inspiring new generations of artists." I think that is pretty much my life story, right there. Especially the influencing and inspiring new generations of artists thing.

See, I'm cocky again, which means the universe will be knocking me down very shortly. For now I'm the winningest though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D Find Out What it Means to Me!

After my boisterous, pompous and positive feelings yesterday concerning the fact that I had received no more rejection letters, it was obvious that the universe needed to knock me down a notch.

I got home from a long day and saw it: The letter addressed to me - in my own handwriting - with my own name as the sender. It was immediately obvious this was one of the self-addressed-stamped-enveloped I'd sent along with a query letter to a publisher. I could tell there was no monkey doing the hula with a check in its teeth inside this particular envelope. I took the letter to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet. I mean, to open it all by myself. The postmark said "Fox Valley, IL", so I knew it was a rejection from Sourcebooks, my number one choice. I knew it was not good news, but I hoped for another positive rejection like the one I received from Kensington, perhaps something along these lines:

Dear Jen,

You are incredible, but we can't even think about publishing your book because we could never contain or fully represent your awesomeness or pay you enough. Good luck in your search for someone who can!

But no, it was the dreaded form letter, basically patting me on the back and saying that even though I suck, so do thousands of other people who are trying to get published. I folded it up and stuffed it in a drawer. I took a shower. I ate enough dark chocolate to kill a family of Labradors. I made up funny phrases out of the letters in REJECTED:

Really Evil Jen Encourages Cats To Eat Ducks. Rigorous Exercise Justifies Eating Cookies, Tarts, Eclairs, Doughnuts. Reasonably Empathetic Jackrabbits Eating Christians Try Every Dish. Rejected Ejected Jens Evolve Continuously, Trying Everything Differently. Revolving Elderly Jazz Entertainers Cause Turtles Envy, Dude. Responsible English Judges Ever-Changing Tastes Evoke Distrust.

I could tell you more, but I think you get the idea. My plan now is to a) try to get query letters out to some other publishers before I get another rejection letter so I have a reason to live. Whoops, I mean, so I feel like I'm accomplishing something, b) design a logo for my blog, c) post said logo to blog and try to get more traffic pointed towards the blog and d) get more dark chocolate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not Very Funny Mondays

I'm back. My friend left and it's a Monday - not a very good combination. However, I lifted my spirits creating some office supply art:

It's a flower (or pinwheel? Circular saw? Pizza roller-cutter thingy?) made of business cards. Not my business cards, those don't have very many pretty colors. This art is great because it's quick, doesn't use up any office supply for more than a few minutes and distracted me from the fact that it's Monday and my friend is gone. Whoops, I just reminded myself again. Dammit.

While Christy was here I did come up with some intriguing new ideas. On Friday night I was driving her around, taking her to touristy stores that I have never even been to even though I have lived in this area for four years (perhaps because everything in them is cheap crap?) After she located the item she needed (something made in China) I drove her up a mountain to see a ski resort. One that won't even be open for 4 months. Just to pass the time. This is when I hit upon the concept of: "Jen's Pointless Tours". Do you think that would fly? Most tours involve history, ghosts, bars, sites where animals have mangled people, churches, battles, etc. These tours would be...pointless. You know, just for "fun". I'd show people where I go to the dentist, which grocery store I like, my favorite aisle in the library, where I used to park when I lived on Main Street, my Doc Marten collection, the restaurant where they put bacon on my salad when I told them I was a vegetarian, etc. At the end they could come back to my house and pet my cats and I could sing.

What other intriguing ideas did I come up with? I know I said ideas, plural, above, but now I'm stumped. It could be because I spent the last three days on one of my own pointless tours and it has left my brain shriveled and fried. Or it could be the usual: I was trying to impress you and was hoping I'd come up with something else cool before the end of the blog.

Changing the subject, hoping you'll forget that I am not creative today, the three-week mark is up and I still haven't gotten any more rejection letters from ye olde publisheres. I'm going to take that as a sign that they are simply deciding whether they want to tell me they want my book by sending a check for 6 million dollars to my house or if one of the editors actually wants to take one of my Pointless tours and suprise me at the end with a singing monkey doing a hula dance, holding my check for 6 million dollars between it's teeth.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Wish I Had a Cot. And Some Grape Juice.

I'm so sleepy right now. The cats have been waking me up early lately. And I am silly and think: "I'll get up with them and exercise! It's so wonderful to rise with the sun!" (That sentence made it sound like perhaps we were exercising all together. Me, the cats, all in leg warmers and headbands. Not true. Only they wear the leg warmers, I stick with sneakers and a sports bra. And if you're lucky I put on a pair of pants.)

Back on the subject: Fast forward to me in the afternoon, drinking my third cup of tea trying to get part of my brain (any part at all, even if it only remembers sitcom theme songs) to wake up. So in this semi-awake state I thought to myself: Why don't I try to write a witty blog? Good plan, Jen.

I haven't had a lunch break the last two days, that's why my blogs have been absent. Also, I haven't created anything. Oh, I did create a beautiful vegetable lasagna to feed to my friend, Christy, who is in town. That's art as far as I'm concerned. I also created irritation for my poor boyfriend. I won't bore you with the details.

Christy flew in today and boy are her arms sore! (Feel free to stop reading this blog because my jokes get worse on a daily basis. But remember how sleepy I am from working out with the cats. They're like drill sargeants.) and I was so, so excited to see her, we've been friends since we were 12 and she dressed up as a cow for Halloween and walked around kissing everyone on the cheek. I always look for people who share a love of farm animals and same-sex PDA.

Before I dig myself in any deeper, let me just say that there will be more office supply art to come. But maybe not tomorrow, as I have to give a presentation. In front of the board of directors. I doubt I'll be making paperclip art during the meeting, but you never know...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Does a Jen Make Art in the Woods?

I know you're on the edge of your seat to see the pictures from my camping trip. I'm talking to the one (no wait, two!) people who read this. You know who you are. Isn't this the most beautiful campsite ever? What's not to love? Oh, maybe the fact that you have to walk up and down those steps with every single bit of your camping gear, food, booze, wood, and emotional issues, not to mention the fact that you have to stumble up them in the dark in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom, and then back down them when it's even darker because your eyes adjusted to the light in the bathroom. Which really isn't such a good thing, have you ever seen the inside of a bathroom at a campground? Yuck. Which is why I got so in touch with nature while on the trip. The trees are much cleaner. It really was a lovely site though, perfect for making art:
Oooh, mosiac art. Made using the long-forgotten ancient art known as "ripped-up-pieces-from-the-box-containing-that-cheap-and-sort-of-icky-tasting-macaroni-and-cheese." It's true, I gave in and bought non-whole wheat and non-organic mac and cheese for this trip - it even came with the *gag* pre-mixed "cheese" sauce to put on it. That stuff was impossible to get off the pot and the dinner dishes, I'm assuming in 2079 when I pass away at 100 the robot-doctor/anthropologist/reality-TV-star that performs my autopsy will still be finding remnants of it in my intestines. But the art I made from it is cool, yes?

This is a new media for me. I call it...hmm, think of something funny, quick..."Art of the Damned." That's horrible and completely off base, let me try again: "Nature's Touch". That sounds like some sort of feminine product, but let's roll with it anyways. I made this down by the lake out of pebbles and rocks and leaves. I guess it won't stand the test of time, which begs the question: "If an art piece falls into the lake and nobody is there to see it, does it still get wet?" I'm losing my touch here, it must be home sick with my metaphors, so I'm going to move on to not my art, but my sweetheart's art:

In the immortal words of Beavis and Butthead: "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" I cannot believe I just used a Beavis and Butthead reference. In case you haven't figured it out, this was our campfire and as Anthony pointed out a few (dozen? thousand?) times, it was pretty awesome.

All in all a lovely trip that I thoroughly enjoyed. The "cheese" sauce told me to tell you it enjoyed it, too. Eww.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Published! And Back From Camping!

Let me begin by saying: I'm published! I finally got my hands on a real-life paper copy of my article on Friday and it's also posted online now. You can (better!) read it here.

In other exciting news: I don't really have any. I did take a fun camping trip this past weekend, though. I took pictures of the campsite and even made some art on the trip that I'd like to share. Unfortunately, last night I was too tired *coughlazycough* from the exertion of spending a weekend reading and swimming and looking at a campfire to upload my pics. But, you know me, I have an illustration to share just the same:

These are some of the things my trip held in store for me; I used the only media I could find: Highlighter and pen on scrap paper, to illustrate them. Very advanced. Let's go over the list:
  • Barking. On the first night we were lucky enough to be camping next to a couple of girls and guys who had a beagle. These campsites were on a lake; everytime the girls and guys went in the water, Mr. or Mrs. Beagle got very upset. And barked about it. To everyone. Lucky us, Girls and Guys were in the lake very late, well after it got dark at 9:00 pm. The dog barking complemented the peace and the quiet of the fire like a...well, my metaphors are still camping, apparently, I can't find them. Use your imagination.
  • Fire. That's pretty standard: Anthony loves his campfires. He pokes it, prods it, talks about how great it is. I should start using this technique concerning dinner, since I cook it all the time: "That's one nice fajita, huh?", "Wow, awesome mashed potatoes, do you think anyone else around here has mashed potatoes as great as these?"
  • Swimming. Well, not really. The lake was about as cold as a side of beef on the gas grill. Hey, my metaphors are back. Sick and ready to leave work, but back none the less. Anywho, the lake was kinda warm to refresh us, so we mostly looked at it.
  • Corn on the Cob. Cooked on the fire. Yummy. We also cooked Portobello mushrooms over the fire, also tasty. We toasted some bread over the fire and it made our Portobello sandwiches taste kinda funny. But earthy.
  • Nature. Pretty hard to escape nature when you're camping in the woods. In fact, see that tree? In the middle of the night I had to go (you know) really bad, and I didn't want to walk all the way to the bathroom. I went behind that tree and I got very in touch with nature, if you know what I mean.
  • Reading. I brought a copy of WNC Woman so I read my own article about 12 times. I also read some other stuff, including some magazines and a book about health and exercise. I know, on vacation! What is wrong with me???
  • Ants. Not too many, but one was on my foot tickling me. I hate to be tickled. But since I'm a vegetarian I just shooed it off me, I did not harm it. Very Buddhist of me.
  • Tent. I can tell you right now that illustration is not a fair and accurate representation of our tent. First of all, ours is some dark colors, I can't remember which ones (As an artist I am very observant, as you can tell.) It's not pink. At all. Do they even sell pink camping gear? I can tell you that they sell pink Highlighters, which is how my tent ended up this shade. Also, it's BIG. I think it's advertised that you could sleep 8 or something in it, but that would be very stinky. It was kinda stinky with just two, come to think of it. It's a nice tent. There wasn't even any swearing when we put it up this time, we've gotten pretty good at it.

Tomorrow I hope to post some real pics and art from the trip, but for now you're just going to have to go read my article and pine for me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Grumpy Bunny

I am a grumpy bunny today. Which would be a good name for a bar, don't you think? "The Grumpy Bunny"? Also, "The Laughing Duck". There are a few reasons I am grumpy:
  1. Today I wanted to post the link to the August issue of WNC Woman magazine, where my first (and only) article is being published. It's about office supply art and creativity, because that is all I am capable of writing about. Also, I haven't been able to find the real life mag, either, so I haven't had a chance to see my article.
  2. Because I have been unable to view the article, I dreamed about it all night. About it being cut from the magazine, about it being shortened, about it being changed, about it being received poorly, about it being eaten by zombies, normal dream stuff.
  3. There is a new phone system at work. It is not working for me. There are still some glitches. It makes me bitches.
  4. Two weeks have passed since I submitted my book query to Ten Speed Press and Sourcebooks. This does not make me grumpy, I just wanted to make the list look more impressive. I do take the fact that I have not received a reply as a sign that the publishers did not laugh and throw my work away, simply based on my funny last name and poor spelling skills.
  5. I am going camping this weekend. This also doesn't make me grumpy except one of my friends, the one who initiated the trip in the first place, can't go because of her job.

When given grumpiness, make grumpy-ade, isn't that what they say? This is my grumpy-ade:

Why is this bunny grumpy? No one knows for sure, but here are some possibilities:


  1. Bunnies shouldn't have eyebrows?
  2. He/She is being forced to jump through what appears to be nuclear waste?
  3. He/She has no rear legs? Or possibly those rear legs are being gnawed on by badgers? And republicans?
  4. There is some damn kid playing the recorder nearby? (Okay, that's happening in my life and making me grumpier.)
  5. Pink ears make him/her look fat?
  6. He/she isn't sure if he/she's a he or a she?
  7. It is worried about it's carbon footprint?

I asked Amy, coworker and bunny-analyzer, her thoughts. Her suggestions were:


  1. The grass is not edible.
  2. It's really a dog, not a bunny*
  3. It hasn't found God.
  4. It has too much chest hair.

*Let's see you try to draw a bunny from memory, while under phone-system-related-duress, missy.

Happy August